Chairman’s Report April 2022

Denstone Village

Parish Council Annual Report 2022

Welcome to the Annual Parish Council report and an update on what has happened during the last year. Unfortunately, once again, during 2021 the pandemic affected many in our village, and on behalf of Denstone Parish Council, I send best wishes to all our residents and our sincere condolences to those of you who have sadly lost a family member or friend during this last year. We wish to recognise the efforts of all those who have become involved in helping to supply the needs of the vulnerable in our village and all those who are good neighbours, quietly offering friendship and support where required. The Denstone Voluntary Car scheme continues to work successfully, and our thanks to Roy Smith and the volunteers from the village. The Parish Council joined with the church to celebrate the ‘Day of Thanks’ last summer and donated a bench which is sited in the churchyard.

There have, once again, been many tasks completed during the last year and other projects being continued. The Oak Road Play area is regularly inspected and actions to maintain it are continuously undertaken. The Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring Group (NPMG) continue to provide much needed information on planning applications for development within the village. This group undertake site visits and access expert advice as required to ensure that the Parish Council have the most up to date information to enable them to make objective decisions in the best interest of the village.

I’m sure you will have seen that, after very many years working with the Highways department, a much safer junction at ‘Stubwood Hollow’ below Lady Meadow Bridge has finally been completed! The Parish Council will continue to monitor the roads and pavements in and around the village to ensure that they are kept in good order, although we would ask that cars are not parked on pavements. The Trail along the old railway line is in constant need of upkeep and much time and effort is required to maintain this for the use of ramblers and dog walkers. During the last year the platforms have been repointed and are now secure for many years to come.

Much time and great effort has been given by our Borough Councillor Steve Sankey alongside Parish Cllr Jess Turner in researching the installation of ‘Fibre Broadband’ to the village. They are working closely with Openreach to get the best possible deal for our residents and will continue to report on progress to the Parish Council, our thanks to them both.
There have, once again, been some challenging weather scenarios during the last year and our Lengthsman, Russ Whitehurst, has been working diligently to keep the drains, gullies, and the culvert clear and free running, sometimes against all odds! Our thanks once again, to Gary Plant for clearing out the ditch in the centre of the village and thanks also to Robert Saint from RJS for the generous donations of regular road sweeping. Despite the weather, Russ and Tracy Hyder, our new gardener, alongside Sue Edmonds, have ensured that our village was as colourful and well dressed as ever, our thanks to them also.

With the support of Denstone College, we continue to seek new ways to make our village safer in the light of the volume of traffic. Members of the PC are part of the College’s newly formed ‘Transport and Parking Working Group’ to tackle the issues of parking, coaches, transport, car share and their green agenda’. As well as this, our trained Community Speed Watch team can be frequently seen monitoring speeds and thereby encouraging more careful driving.

And so, we look ahead to the coming year, to the Spring and the Summer, to Sunshine and Happy days and to our village’s celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee when our spirits will be lifted. Stay safe, keep well, and remember to smile!

I wish to thank my fellow Councillors and especially Julie Sadler, our Parish Clerk, for all their hard work, time, and commitment to our village on your behalf.

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, it is with regret that I write this, my final Annual report, as I will no longer be a member of the Denstone Parish Council following my resignation. I love living in Denstone and it has been a privilege to lead and work as a member of the PC team for the last four years. Together we have achieved so very much. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to play a worthy part in our community and I hope to continue to do so in many and different ways is the future.

Best wishes, Margaret Shermer, Chair of Denstone Parish council, April 2022

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